In age of climate change, can our lawns be more than landscaping? Forget aesthetics: Lawns can raise food, restore habitats, and even store carbon

Analysts at Garden Research found U.S. gardeners spent a record $47.8 billion in lawn and garden retail purchases last year, roughly $503 per household (a figure that includes outdoor furniture purchases).  Environmental Protection Agency stats suggest that every year, Americans use 800 million gallons of gasoline caring for our lawns, and spill a further 17 million in the process (a spill, in terms of …

Book highlights: Weather from the Ground Up: Biodiversity Helps Shape Local Climate. And Dirt to Soil: Journey into Regenerative Agriculture

Dirt to Soil: One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture, by Gabe Brown (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2018) from Loretto Earth Network News, May 2019 Picture this exchange. I’m at a Motherhouse Farm and Land Management Committee meeting when I mention that I was so excited about reading Dirt to Soil that I read it straight through while I was on vacation in Florida.  After a brief pause, one …

Inland heating and risk of heatwaves are much worse

Dr Andrew King is lecturer in climate science at the School of Earth Sciences and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes at the University of Melbourne.  in Carbon Brief, April 26, 2019 The world has not warmed evenly as the climate has changed over the past century. After about 1C of human-induced global warming, we observe that regions such as the Arctic and most land areas have …

“The Story of Soil Is the Story of All of Us”: Composting as Community Building

For as long as humans have engaged in agriculture, and even before, we’ve relied on healthy soil and the organisms it supports. And for most of that time, we’ve cultivated good soil. Early societies developed food production systems that actually enhanced soil fertility and food abundance, such as with “terra preta,” or Amazonian dark earth, and the food forests of the …

Good news: there’s a startling degree of consensus on key issues. Eighty-three percent of Americans believe that as a society, the United States is focused on the wrong priorities. Supermajorities want to see greater priority given to children, family, community, and a healthy environment. Americans also want a world that puts people ahead of profits, spiritual values ahead of financial values, and international cooperation ahead of international domination

David Korten posted Apr 17, 2019 How Will Future Generations Remember Our Time? Empire or Earth Community and a Great Turning? This article from the YES! Media archives was originally published in the Summer 2006 issue of YES! Magazine. By what name will future generations know our time? Will they speak in anger and frustration of the time of the Great Unraveling, when …

Notre Dame and the Fight for Sacred Lands

My people, the Dakota and the Diné, did not build these things and were without kings or nobles or peasants. What we created instead were the kinship relationships with land and people that organized our societies. These made life worth living for everyone—not just the mighty.  My people built tipis and hogans, where relationships were nourished and stories were told …

Can plants be modified to grow deeper roots and transfer more carbon to the soil?

“Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors,” but fossil fuel use rose nearly 2% last year. Each year, we produce 18 more gigatons of CO2 than the Earth can currently handle. Salk believes their solution can achieve as much as a 46% annual reduction in excess CO2 emissions produced by humans.  Dr Joanne Chory hopes that genetic modifications to enhance plants’ natural …

Soil carbon sequestration and the initiative to achieve 4/1000 average percentage of soil carbon increase every year for the next 25 years

The 4/1000 website and policy brief. “Four for 1000: Soils for Food Security and Climate” is a global plan and agreement to reverse global warming, soil degradation, deteriorating public health and rural poverty by scaling up regenerative food, farming and land use practices. Under this Initiative, over the next 25 years, regenerative agriculture and large-scale ecosystem restoration can qualitatively preserve and improve soils, pastures, …

3 key traits of good climate policy, tackling the problems we have and making a large, meaningful impact on carbon emissions and climate change

Good climate policy has 3 key traits: It has a large, meaningful impact on carbon emissions and climate change. It specifically tackles the problems that aren’t already being tackled by the market. It actually gets passed into law. All of that is compatible with a Green New Deal.  In just the past decade, solar power has gone from being uneconomical anywhere on …

By Reconnecting With Long Relationship with and Care of Soil, We Heal the Planet and Ourselves

By Reconnecting With Soil, We Heal the Planet and Ourselves: Enslavement and sharecropping cannot erase thousands of years of Black people’s sacred relationship with the land. Leah Penniman, YES! Magazine,  Feb 14, 2019 Dijour Carter refused to get out of the van parked in the gravel driveway at Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, New York. The other teens in his program emerged skeptical, but …